Steve Martin: Not the One Needing an ‘E-x-c-u-s-e Me!”


Remember when Steve Martin's main gig was getting laughs walking on stage with a toy arrow through his head?

Man, has he been on target in the years since those wild and crazy '70s!

Nowhere was this more evident than on the Feb. 4 edition of "Saturday Night Live," which Martin hosted for a record-breaking 14th time in what turned out to be one of the moribund show's livelier incarnations.

Which leads to the arrow-piercing audaciousness of his audience-baiting skit in which he portrayed himself, grabbing a $500,000 fee for performing before some unknown group's convention.

Only when Martin finds out that the group is Hamas does he have second thoughts, especially when asked to include some frightful anti-Israel humor in his routine.

Conscience versus commercialism? Integrity weighed against income? Hmm … which balloon do you think the comic picked to prick?

Replace the arrow with a barka, and you get the idea that not even William Tell would be as tellingly insightful with such a conundrum in his cross-hairs.

Ready for Prime Time, Indeed 
And what a brilliant idea: Steve Martin at the top of his game is ready for prime time playing anywhere, anytime.

And, after all, his conceit was so outlandish, the comfort came in knowing such schtick could never happen.

Which reminds me of this news flash: "Valley of the Wolves: Iraq" is a new film you probably won't be seeing at your local theaters – unless your local theater is in Turkey.

The Turks recently shot and financed the film, focusing on an American doctor in Iraq – a Jewish doctor, of course – whose main job is eviscerating suspects imprisoned in the cells at Abu Ghraib.

The film reportedly goes out of the way to show that the incarcerated are innocent victims of American aggression; the Iraqis are depicted as innocuous guests at a wedding reception, with the Americans stereotyped as the most wicked of wedding crashers – whose gifts are an unneeded set of knives.

Don't check Owen Wilson's calendar for this one.

But Gary Busey – busy doing nothing else obviously – plays the Jewish doctor.

When contacted by a wire service to comment on why his client would take such a demeaning and possibly career-damaging job, the actor's agent said:

"It was basically a payday for him."

E-x-c-u-s-e me?

Steve Martin, you're not looking like a such a w-i-l-d and c-r-a-z-y guy anymore.



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